Borders have slammed shut, schools and businesses have closed and increasingly draconian restrictions on movement have been enforced to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
Here are some of the latest developments on Tuesday:
VIRUS KEEPS MOVING WEST
Tens of millions of people are hunkered down, so gripped by fear that they are heeding government calls to isolate themselves and slow the spread of the coronavirus. Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the virus was first detected late last year and which has been under lockdown for weeks, reported just one new case Tuesday. The fronts in the battle have clearly shifted outside China, with its caseload now outnumbered by those outside its borders. Countries from Canada to Switzerland, Russia and Malaysia announced sharp new restrictions on the movement of people across their borders. The border closures stopped not only people but also needed goods.
MAJOR EVENTS POSTPONED OR DISRUPTED
The coronavirus pandemic is forcing the postponement and disruption of events big and small — and very big. The European Championship soccer tournament has been postponed for one year, upending a tradition that dominates European life for a full month every four years. The tournament was set to begin June 12 but has been rescheduled for June 2021. In the United States, the virus created uncertainty for the Democratic presidential primary after leaders in the state of Ohio called off a Tuesday election hours before polls were expected to open. Officials in Florida, Arizona and Illinois said voting would take place, but people had difficulty getting to the polls in the morning.
VIRUS REALITY TO HIT GERMAN “BIG BROTHER” PARTICIPANTS
Germany’s Big Brother reality show participants are living in oblivion of the coronavirus outbreak — but not for much longer. On Tuesday evening, they will be informed about the pandemic that has brought many countries around the globe to a standstill. In a special show airing Tuesday at 7 p.m. (1800 GMT), contestants living in isolation near the western German city of Cologne will be informed about the virus pandemic by a physician and the show’s host. The participants have been cut off from the outside world since Feb. 6.